Misleading windturbine photo banned

Residents in the village of Watford complained after the Volkswind Company produced literature which showed a computer generated image of what the turbine would look like if it were built.

But villagers claimed the image, overlaid onto a picture of the real landscape, appeared to show the turbine smaller than it would actually be.

Paul Bradbury who lives in the village complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) - when he failed to get any satisfactory response from the firm over they way the photo-montage was compiled.

The ASA said "the draft publicity which had been sent to residents and was NOT produced to industry standards."

The Advertisting watchdogs said they looked at comparitive sizes and scales of other images in the picture and said the picture of the wind-turbine then placed over it, WAS misleadingly small.

The ASA judged the advert breached the codes of Substantiation and Truthfulness.

In a statement, the firm told heart “The adjudication was based on the materials we created for the Watford Lodge Wind Farm public consultation. We are pleased that for two of the three complaints made the ASA were happy we had followed industry standards to create realistic and accurate expected views of the proposals.

The very first image we created back in January 2009 (the one where the complaint was upheld) was circulated to residents when we first proposed the plans. It did show that the turbines were a little smaller than subsequent views depicted. The updated views with the correct proportions were sent out to residents on all further correspondence and were also the images depicted at the Public Exhibition held in May. They are also the views the planning application is currently being assessed on.

We are sorry for any confusion caused. The early image has not been used since that first newsletter. We always strive to share with residents realistic images of any of our proposals so they can fully understand them before an application is submitted.”

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